Kingsville Council Slow to React

Of the 7 municipalities in Essex County, 4 have a bylaw to regulate the short term rental (STR) market – Amherstburg, Lakeshore, Essex and Windsor.

Kingsville, Leamington and LaSalle have no bylaw. Leamington recognized STRs as an issue in 2020, but have yet to act. Same with LaSalle. The number of STRs in Kingsville is unknown because the town isn’t keeping track, but our research indicates well over 100.

Kingsville Council has recently initiated a survey to gauge public sentiment, but if you’re anything like me these days, you are pretty much surveyed out (but please complete this one more, click on link). A poor response to their survey will surely be all council needs to continue to ignore this important issue, to the detriment of our housing supply.

The constant flow of strangers is eroding the character of our neighbourhoods and spoiling what was once close-knit communities. Having an STR as a neighbour, putting aside the potential for parking, noise and trash complaints typical of party houses, can lower the value of your property, while inflating house prices in general (wealthy investors and corporations take advantage of an unregulated business opportunity to generate the sizable profits promised by the STR market).

Houses that have hit the market in the last few years are often scooped up by outsiders wanting to convert former family homes into lucrative business enterprises, earning far more than a long-term rental. As an example, a house in the midst of a renovation is already being advertised: “Hey friends! Ever wondered what goes into turning a Lakeside Home into the ultimate Airbnb party pad?”

This boldness is a result of council’s hesitancy (or refusal?) to introduce regulations for these businesses. Which begs the question, what other business gets to operate with absolutely no requirement?

If properties now operating as short term rentals had been purchased or rented long-term by locals, Kingsville wouldn’t be facing anywhere near the current housing crisis. The federal government is certainly taking notice of the impact of STRs on the housing market as evidenced from their Canada’s Housing Action Plan published Nov 2023 (more about this in a future article).

Finally, many other Ontario municipalities in their STR bylaws have incorporated a 4-5% accommodation tax, similar to what hotels are required to charge, making me ponder whether the roughly 8% increase in taxes we are faced with might have been less had the Town not forgone the potential revenue from a proper STR bylaw.

Click here to complete Kingsville’s Short Term Rental (STR) Survey

~ Peter Walker
Citizens Against Short Term Rentals (CASTR)

Photo by Goodlot Dupwa from Pexels


  1. We recently had the very unpleasant experience of a nearby cottage sell for over a MILLION dollars only to polish it up in preparation for a VRBO. This after me asking what their plans were. Response was we’re going to move in. First lie. Most of this work done was by what appeared to immigrant farm workers who understood no English. Even “creating” additional parking in the adjacent farmers field. Farmer informed them to stay off. They continue to mow the lawn as if they own it.
    First experience was a birthday party for the owner with TWENTY NINE cars parked on the grass and in the farmers field. Then there was the weekend when a group of single young women partying, drinking, loud music and trespassing on the neighbour’s beach, swimming topless. Reply was we’re from from Toronto and don’t know how it works”. Private has the same meaning here as every where.
    Recently asked a real estate agent how this would affect my home value. Response was don’t list on a Friday. Reason was obvious. New mayor promised to deal with this by Sept. 2023. So far nothing ! We’ve had ENOUGH.

  2. Joanne Rivard

    Great article about STR in this area. For all those people having challenges with finding rentals, address your concerns with Town Council. They hold the key. They can stop this and/or at least collect the accommodation tax, rather than continually putting their hands in our pockets. There should be a town hall to discuss this subject, and sort it out before the busy season starts.

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